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De Votos y Ex-Votos 


For my aunt Mayo

Porcelain, cotton, silver

In his most recent work, the Mexican artist Jorge Manilla creates a fragmentary and symbolic visualisation of Mexican (childhood) memories. A play of zooming in and zooming out, microcosm and macrocosm. Quintessential in each piece is the detailed photographic point of view, noticeable in the meticulously framed observations from the past. Close-ups of anonymous arms and hands, during the ritual act of attaching amulets in the magnificently decorated Mexican churches, compose phantasmagorical mental collages of cut limbs.


The surrealistic effect of these framings is even increased by the remembrance-images of the Mexican milagros (amulets/ex-voto’s in metal), which represent themselves limbs and organs corresponding the nature of the wished favour. (…) Amorphous structures in layered brown cardboard, evoking associations with organs and human parts, function as the framed focus-elements within the clusters of memories. As much as their organic concept, it is their texture and colour that refers to human limbs; as a skin that encloses inner life. (…) Just like the horror vacui-aspect, manifest in the overwhelming Mexican church interiors, these suggestive cardboard fragments are combined with an accumulation of religious and symbolic elements in porcelain, silver and mirrors. (…) In these pieces the ephemeral becomes eternal.

Evelien Bracke 

God within

Cardboard, silver, mirror

A dream was the only way

Cardboard, silver, porcelain, bone, wool

The mystic bufon

Silver, cardboard, mirror, cotton thread

You were never true

Cardboard, silver, porcelain, cotton thread, gold

Life is meaningless

Cardboard, silver porcelain, gold

Beings in transition

Cotton thread, silver, porcelain, rosewood wood

Spiritus Corpus

Leather/ cardboard/ cotton thread/ porcelain/ gold

Beings in transition

Cotton thread/ silver/ porcelain/ rosewood wood

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